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The Port of Savannah logged a record June this year with a total 494,107 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), up 10.6% compared to June 2021's total.
Fiscal-year 2022 itself was a record breaker for the Georgia Ports Authority, which posted a total 5.76 million TEUs, up 8% from FY2021. Trade at the Savannah port has been boosted by a significant shift in vessel calls due to continued West Coast labor and congestion issues, including a delay in rail access, GPA officials said in a press release.
Overall, the port is experiencing a higher-than-normal number of vessels waiting at anchor, GPA officials said. Savannah is also receiving containers diverted from the Port of Charleston due to that port’s growing backlog.
GPA hired 166 new workers in FY2022, growing the number of workers to 1,647, to better accommodate rising demand. The authority board has also approved the purchase of 12 new rubber-tired gantry cranes — costing $30.25 million — and other container-handling equipment. Savannah already has 198 gantry cranes, while another 24 were already on back-order. The new purchase brings the total to 234.
“Growing our workforce and infrastructure is part of the Board’s continuing commitment to keep our deepwater terminals ready to take on new trade,” said GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten. “Presently, we are expanding our dock space to handle additional big ships and increasing our container storage space in Savannah, while simultaneously enhancing our capabilities to move autos and breakbulk in Brunswick.”
In FY2022, export loads reached 1.32 million TEUs, while import loads totaled 2.86 million TEUs. Top exports included forest products, kaolin clay and automotive cargo, and top imports included furniture, machinery and plastic goods.
CSX and Norfolk Southern Railway serve the port.